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News Release Information

Friday, April 15, 2016

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Average Energy Prices, Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, March 2016

Gasoline prices averaged $2.119 a gallon in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton area in March 2016, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Assistant Commissioner for Regional Operations Richard Holden noted that area gasoline prices were down 78.5 cents compared to last March when they averaged $2.904 per gallon. Seattle area households paid an average of 10.3 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity in March 2016, up from the 9.6 cents per kWh in March 2015. The average cost of utility (piped) gas at $1.058 per therm in March was lower than the $1.216 per therm spent last year. (Data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year-analysis is used throughout.)

At $2.119 a gallon, Seattle area consumers paid 4.8 percent more than the $2.021 national average in March 2016. A year earlier, consumers in the Seattle area paid 14.2 percent more than the national average for a gallon of gasoline. The local price of a gallon of gasoline has been within 14.2 percent of the national average in the month of March during the past five years. (See chart 1.)

The 10.3 cents per kWh Seattle households paid for electricity in March 2016 was 23.1 percent less than the nationwide average of 13.4 cents per kWh. Last March, electricity costs were 29.4 percent lower in Seattle compared to the nation. In each of the past five years during the month of March, prices paid by Seattle area consumers for electricity were less than the U.S. average by at least 23.1 percent. (See chart 2.)

Prices paid by Seattle area consumers for utility (piped) gas, commonly referred to as natural gas, were $1.058 per therm, or 19.7 percent more compared to the national average in March 2016 ($0.884 per therm). A year earlier, area consumers paid 23.5 percent more per therm for natural gas compared to the nation. In the past five years, the per therm cost for natural gas in March in the Seattle area has varied between 3.6 percent and 28.1 percent above the U.S. average. (See chart 3.)

The Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, Wash. metropolitan area consists of Kitsap, Thurston, Island, King, Snohomish, and Pierce Counties of Washington.

Technical Note

Average prices are estimated from Consumer Price Index (CPI) data for selected commodity series to support the research and analytic needs of CPI data users. Average prices for electricity, utility (piped) gas, and gasoline are published monthly for the U.S. city average, the 4 regions, the 3 population size classes, 10 region/size-class cross-classifications, and the 14 largest local index areas. For electricity, average prices per kilowatt-hour (kWh) are published. For utility (piped) gas, average prices per therm, are published. For gasoline, the average price per gallon is published. Average prices for commonly available grades of gasoline are published as well as the average price across all grades.

All eligible prices are converted to a price per normalized quantity. These prices are then used to estimate a price for a defined fixed quantity. The average price per kilowatt-hour represents the total bill divided by the kilowatt-hour usage. The total bill is the sum of all items applicable to all consumers appearing on an electricity bill including, but not limited to, variable rates per kWh, fixed costs, taxes, surcharges, and credits. This calculation also applies to the average price per therm for utility (piped) gas.

Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone: 202-691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 800-877-8339.

Table 1. Average prices for gasoline, electricity, and utility (piped) gas, Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton and the United States, March 2015-March 2016, not seasonally adjusted
Year and month Gasoline per gallon Electricity per kWh Utility (piped) gas per therm
Seattle area United States Seattle area United States Seattle area United States


$2.904 $2.544 $0.096 $0.136 $1.216 $0.985


2.745 2.545 0.098 0.137 1.216 0.947


3.049 2.832 0.098 0.137 1.253 0.930


3.104 2.889 0.102 0.143 1.250 0.942


3.199 2.893 0.102 0.142 1.250 0.933


3.094 2.745 0.102 0.142 1.250 0.932


2.791 2.463 0.102 0.141 1.250 0.921


2.493 2.357 0.102 0.136 1.252 0.909


2.414 2.249 0.102 0.134 1.056 0.903


2.348 2.125 0.102 0.133 1.056 0.892


2.326 2.034 0.103 0.134 1.056 0.898


2.019 1.833 0.103 0.134 1.056 0.895


2.119 2.021 0.103 0.134 1.058 0.884


Last Modified Date: Friday, April 15, 2016